THE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY – Review by Leslie Combemale

Writer/director Craig Pryce’s film The Marijuana Conspiracy proves that a fascinating, little-known, and rather dark chapter in Canadian history does not necessarily make for a fascinating movie. The fact-based story basis for the film is one that has been largely buried in time.

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REEFA – Review by Leslie Combemale

Jessica Kavana Dornbusch has penned and directed the film Reefa about young and very gifted street artist Israel ‘Reefa’ Hernandez, who was struck down by Miami police while he was tagging an abandoned building. After four years of intense research and much dialogue with Hernandez’s family, Kavana Dornbusch has crafted a story that is much more a celebration of a joyful, idealistic youth’s life than it is about a senseless, tragic death at the hands of the officers who should have been protecting him.

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SIX MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT – Review by Martha K Baker

Six Minutes to Midnight offers insight if not brilliance. This film tells a little known story with more effort than excellence. First, the title: Six minutes to midnight translates to 11:54 on a clock; 1154 translates to the telephone exchange for the British intelligence bureau charged with finding an agent. He was posing as an English teacher but went missing with his camera.

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THE COURIER – Review by Diane Carson

British director Dominic Cooke opens The Courier with on-screen titles announcing that by 1960 the United States/Soviet Union nuclear arms race had intensified with imminent destruction threatening. With the Cuban missile crisis as the historical backdrop, this cloak-and-dagger story, based on true events, unfolds with suspense and revelations regarding the CIA, Britain’s MI6, and a Russian traitor.

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Aaron Sorkin on THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, Story Power and Musical Dialogue – Jennifer Merin interviews

In The Trial of the Chicago 7, writer/director Aaron Sorkin dramatizes the US Justice Department’s prosecution of political activists Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellenger, John Froines and Lee Weiner, all of whom were arrested while leading peaceful anti-Vietnam War demonstrations during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Sorkin chats about balancing entertainment and educational value in his truth based and how he develops story and composes dialogue.

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THE MAURITANIAN – Review by Martha K Baker

Only the first five minutes of The Mauritanian are easy to watch: a son says good night to his mother. The rest of The Mauritanian proves heart-peltingly painful to watch because it’s about torture visited by the United States on an innocent man, Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

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JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH – Review by Martha K Baker

There is nothing pretty about Judas and the Black Messiah. It is, of necessity, a very dark movie, dark in its setting and lighting, and dark in the horrible history of J. Edgar Hoover against Blacks in general and, here, Fred Hampton in particular. Hoover called first for Hampton’s jailing and then for his killing. At 21.

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THE DIG – Review by Susan Granger

Set in 1939 in the countryside as England was on the brink of W.W.II, this period drama stars Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) as wealthy, widowed Lady Edith Pretty who believes there are historical artifacts buried on her estate, known as Sutton Hoo, near the River Deben.

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